In the midst of the Happy New Years when I returned to work in January, I noticed one of our admin assistants had added weight. She is quite tall and used to be skinny and all of it sudden she had puff puff cheeks and was filling out a skirt. I told her she looked really good.

The sad part of this story was the disbelief in her eyes when I said this. I tried to convince her that the extra weight sat well on her frame, that she was still beautiful. But while it made her smile, the joy didn’t last long. Her mother, she said, had told her she needed to lose the weight. So she was walking about with this self-consciousness that there was something about her that wasn’t quite right.

I remember a time when fat wasn’t the enemy, when having some flesh on your bones was the norm and there weren’t so many people walking around with body issues stemming from their weight. That was before ‘diet’ came to mean something other than ‘eating to lose weight’.

What people tend to forget is that genes play a big role in how you look, and how much you weigh.

When I was a teen, my best friend had the smoothest faces ever. Like a baby’s bottom and people would scoff in disbelief when he said he wasn’t using anything for it. I get the same reaction to my hair. It’s thick and long and all I use is sheabutter and coconut oil and people find that hard to believe.

Genes are an important part of how we look. Some people in trying to get a svelte figure or fit into the modern idea of attractive do everything they can and still fail. They knock off the pounds and gain them again and it becomes an endless ongoing battle when just accepting that your body needs that extra five pounds – and there is nothing you can do – will release them from the cycle.

Except in cases where your weight is putting you at risk for health or psychological issues, there really is no need to torture yourself in the name of weight loss. Eat right, exercise with your health in mind and you’ll be fine.
One is constantly inundated with pictures of great bodies on social media and hold these images as #goals. But where you genes say no, what will you do?